Commonly known as Onslow square, Brompton Square is a pleasant garden square in Kensington, between Old Brompton Road and Fulham road, with rows of magnificent houses of a similar style and regality to Downing Street. The address 'Onslow Square' not only covers the large square itself, but also includes the street that leads into Onslow Gardens, and the street to the northwest that meets Pelham Street.
The majestic houses that line the streets of the square are actually on land belonging to the Smiths Charity Estate (who help combat poverty and disadvantage) and were built by Charles James Freake. Originally, Freake's agreement with the charity stated that all the houses he built should be stuccoed (covered with plaster), and constructed to designs and specifications as per the wishes of George Basevi, the trustees surveyor. The first four houses followed these rules, and were occupied by 1847 - just 2 years after construction had started! However, George Basevi died suddenly in 1845, just after the work had begun, and so the rest of the houses deviated slightly from the original agreement - being mostly made of grey stock brick, with mere decorations of stucco.
Despite the large size and undertaking of the job, Charles Freake completed the lot by 1865, including St Pauls Church and a church hall.
Brompton square has been home to quite a few famous names, including the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray (who lived at No 36 from 1853-1860), and more notably still - Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy; Commander of the HMS Beagle and friend to Charles Darwin. FitzRoy lived at No 38 for 11 years, before he tragically took his own life, due to feelings of guilt for casting doubt on the bible.